What a refreshment! The WTA is updating us on Tatiana Golovin.
In the peak of her success, at the top of her game, Tatiana Golovin was faced with a recognition that she would probably never play tennis again. What later proved to be a chronic back inflammation struck when the Russian-born Frenchwoman was a 20-year-old close to reaching Top 10 in the WTA rankings, and after a breakthrough 2007 with two titles (Portoroz and Amelia Island) and two finals (Stuttgart and Zurich).
At the time I never thought I would stop six months later […] Mentally it was very tough. It’s a big shock when something so important in your life goes away. It took me a whole year to realize I couldn’t play anymore. I took time off to go away from everything and try to find myself again.
Even though she was not prepared for such a turn in her life, Golovin has learned to embrace what she has and is now studying and spending more time with family and friends.
I’ve been doing things I couldn’t do on the tour. I’ve been spending more time with my family, which I couldn’t do with all the traveling. I have a house in the south of France, I have my dog there. I can hang out with friends more. I have more time to myself. I love learning – I went back to school last year, and next year I’m going back again. I’m taking courses in media and politics, a nice background for when I’m older and want to get involved in more areas.
The looks were also there for Golovin, as you could see in the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.
The 23-year-old is pretty certain that professional tennis is out of option, even though the sport would always be her top choice, with all the excitement the tournaments, fans and wins bring. She still hasn’t chosen her definite new career, however, she’s currently enjoying journalism, both as a commentator for France Television and Orange Television and as a columnist in Sport & Style Magazine for L’Equipe.
Current world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, then ranked 38th, was the last to play against Golovin, then ranked 21st. It was in May 2008 in Berlin. (photo: Stephane Martinache)